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Low staffing is a root cause of many injuries in nursing homes. Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Jordan Rau explains how he connected the dots between manpower and risk at facilities nationwide, using a federal tool known as the Payroll-Based Journal.
Medicare said those homes either lacked a registered nurse for “a high number of days” over three months, provided data the government couldn’t verify or didn’t supply their payroll data at all.
Daily nursing home payroll records just released by the federal government show the number of nurses and aides dips far below average on some days and consistently plummets on weekends.
Use this tool to see staffing levels at skilled nursing homes in the U.S.
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One in 5 Medicare patients who leave the hospital for a nursing home end up back in the hospital. To discourage this, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will soon give bonuses and penalties to facilities based on their rehospitalization rates.
Use this tool to see how skilled nursing homes in the U.S. performed on two metrics of quality.
The scathing report cites a significant increase in cases of poor care — especially ones with the potential to cause serious injuries or death. A state lawmaker called the findings “very, very disturbing.”
State says its new site is easier to navigate, though it remains a work in progress. Advocates for nursing home patients call it “a huge step in the wrong direction” that could endanger people’s lives.
California officials should have obtained federal approval before they cut reimbursement rates for dental hygienists who serve frail Californians living in nursing homes and board-and-care facilities, a judge has ruled.
Increasingly, owners of nursing homes outsource services to companies in which they also have financial interest or control. That allows the nursing homes to claim to be in the red while owners reap hidden profits.
Medicare is discouraging regional offices from levying fines for “one-time mistakes” or from using daily fines that seek to put pressure on nursing homes to make changes.
A Kaiser Health News analysis of federal inspection records shows that nursing home inspectors labeled mistakes in infection control as serious for only 161 of the 12,056 homes they have cited since 2014.
Complaints are rising in California and other states about improper evictions and discharges. Advocates say some patients end up in cheap hotels, homeless or back in the hospital.
The strategy has been used mostly in Indiana, where many county-owned hospitals purchased or leased nursing homes to take advantage of a wrinkle in Medicaid payment rules and augment federal reimbursements.
Medicaid covers about two-thirds of nursing home residents, but it pays less than other types of insurance.
Too often enforcement of rules for dealing with crisis is lax, advocates for nursing home residents say.
Tighter Medicaid budgets could jeopardize states’ home-based services that help older adults and disabled people live in their homes instead of more expensive nursing homes.
Although proponents say the policies offered by nursing homes are more attuned to patients, some report frustrations when trying to dispute care decisions.
Of the 528 nursing homes that graduated from special focus status before 2014 and are still operating, more than half — 52 percent — have harmed patients or operated in a way that put patients in serious jeopardy within the past three years, a KHN analysis finds.